Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Monday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The 2020 Week 10 MNF showcase features an NFC North showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. The two clubs most recently met in Week 17 of last season, a 21-19 road win for the Bears in which now backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for 207 yards and David Montgomery rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
The two division rivals come into this game trending in opposite directions. After an 0-3 start, the visiting Vikings have gone 3-2 and secured consecutive victories over division mates Green Bay and Detroit. Meanwhile, the Bears have squandered a 5-1 start with three consecutive losses to teams with winning records – the Rams, Saints and Titans.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick” or “lean”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
One of the overriding reasons for each team’s aforementioned recent fall (Bears) and rise (Vikings) is offense. In the Bears’ case, it’s a shortfall, while in that of the Vikings’ it’s a surge. Chicago has continued to struggle to formulate a ground attack that may now be without Montgomery (concussion) on Monday night. The Bears are now averaging an NFL-low 82.3 rushing yards per contest, frequently leaving Nick Foles with a heavy burden to shoulder.
Foles has done reasonably well in terms of numbers, but not in the win column. The veteran QB has upped his passing yardage totals over that of the prior week in each of Chicago’s three consecutive losses, going from 261 to 272 to 335 against the Rams, Saints and Titans, respectively. Top target Allen Robinson is well on his way to another 1,000-yard season and has five games with more than 80 yards receiving in five contests.
Rookie Darnell Mooney has been a welcome, steady complement alongside Robinson. However, he’s yet to truly establish himself as a legitimate No. 2 threat that defenses have to worry about. The same holds true for Anthony Miller, although he, too, is offering what could be termed solid production (32-321-2 over nine games). The good news for the Bears with or without Montgomery available is they draw a very favorable matchup through the air. Minnesota is allowing 287.9 passing yards per game and a 68.0 percent completion rate. They’ve also given up a 68.9 percent catch rate to wideouts specifically as part of a 111-1,518 line that also includes an NFL-high 16 touchdowns allowed to the position.
Conversely, the Dalvin Cook-centered Vikings offense has a tougher challenge in front of it. The Bears have been adept at defending both the run and pass Chicago is allowing an NFC-low 60.2 percent completion rate and NFL-low 41.9 red-zone TD scoring percentage. They also are surrendering a modest 218.2 passing yards per game, the seventh-lowest figure in the NFL. The Bears also have 20 sacks, although it’s worth noting the Vikings have surrendered just 10 sacks of Cousins all season.
Cook has an MVP-like 369 rushing yards and five rushing TDs over the last two games against the porous defensive fronts of the Packers and Lions. The challenge he faces Monday night is very different, however. The Bears are yielding a modest 101.5 rushing yards per game, along with 4.19 RB yards per carry. For what it’s worth, Cook averaged just 2.5 yards per carry on 14 rushes in his one game against Chicago last season, facing many of the same defensive personnel he’ll see in Week 10.
The differences in defenses here make an upset by the home squad a possibility, especially if Chicago is somehow able to get an early lead and begin to dictate to a Vikings team that prefers to lean on the run whenever possible.
The Lean: Bears moneyline (+125 or better)
MNF Point Spread
The Vikings are 5-3 (62.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-1 (75.0 percent) as a road team and 2-1 (66.7 percent) in division matchups.
The Bears are 5-4 (55.6 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-2 as a home team and 1-0 in division matchups.
The combination of Chicago’s homefield edge and quality defense is a difference-maker in this spot in terms of them having a good shot of keeping this game within a field goal, at minimum. The Bears are a level or two above the units of the two teams Minnesota has built their two-game wining streak on the backs of, the Packer sand Lions. Along with the Vikings’ own defensive deficiencies, I lean in the direction of the home squad sliding in under this number or pulling the upset.
The Pick: Bears +3
MNF Over/Under Total
The Over is 6-2 (75.0 percent) in Minnesota’s games this season, including 2-2 in its road games and 3-0 in its division matchups.
Then, the Over is 3-6 (33.3 percent) in Chicago’s games this season, including 1-3 (25.0 percent) in its home games and 1-0 in its division matchups.
While this total is competing with Ravens-Patriots for the lowest of the slate, I believe the number is a bit too small. Minnesota has shown some explosiveness of late in large part thanks to Cook, but Cousins, Thielen and Jefferson are also always capable of some big plays when called upon. Meanwhile, while Foles and the Bears offense have struggled to put up points recently, the veteran quarterback, Robinson and the young speed receivers are also capable of contributing multiple touchdowns.
The Pick: Over 43.0 points or better